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Tax Time Poem

April 15, 2012


taxes are like the carrot on the plate
i never wanted to eat they get
older & older & less appetizing
just eat your carrots someone might say
it’s not that simple

i have to get them done to get the loan
to keep my house from tumbling off what
little foundation it has & landing
in the bottom of the barranca to
wash to sea it’s gonna be an el nino
winter they say & i believe them i
can feel it, taste it is time again for
rain whether i am ready or not
the sea is hungry

taxes are a cacophony of chaos
bits & pieces of paper swim
with alacrity flutter up to the ceiling
dive down & kick up the silt
i am plankton & i can’t breathe
in the churning turmoil of these taxes
i dare the cats to take a dip they do
jumping on them rolling through them
simple things annoy me i hate to see
things digitized tile, sheets, every day
objects i am irritated immensely
by the swirly taxes the multiple piles
the endless pieces of receipt they
refuse to behave to get in line be
orderly i am embarrassed by their
ganglike swarming their lack of precision
they threaten to rise up take my throat
take my house no one understands the
power they have these are people who
balance checkbooks who possibly know
how much money they have it’s not that
i even owe in fact i was to live
the month of august on my return
return to a place where the taxes live
in peace domesticated instead
i live in the land of the wild taxes
i’m trying to shoot my way out with words
these numbers just aren’t mine

Because of its timeliness, last night at the Contemporary Arts Forum, I started my featured reading with this 2002 3:15 Experiment poem about taxes (which can be found as a broadside published in ArtLife and in between sleeps an anothology of 3:15 experiment poetry published by en theos press). I also read several poems from my book, middle of the night: poems from daughter to mother :: mother to son. The place was packed with poetry enthusiasts and my fellow readers, all of us with new books, were very talented.

If you missed last night’s reading, no worries–there’s another one May 8 at the Artists Union Gallery in Ventura.

While today, April 15, is when they are usually due, because it falls on a Sunday, and because there is some holdiday in DC on Monday, taxes aren’t due until Tuesday. Since I always get money back, I don’t sweat that deadline! But if you are, I send you good tax juju and a happy return!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2012 2:09 am

    Reblogged this on The Write Alley and commented:

    How goes your return? Here’s a poem of mine form the 2002 3:15 Experiment which was published in ArtLife and in “between sleeps.”

  2. April 16, 2012 11:00 am

    I like the conversational tone of this piece (and I hate doing my taxes too!) :)

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